Life in the fast lane

Perth 5th March 2012

On the way to the airport this morning I couldn’t help thinking how people always want to look better, bigger and faster than they really are. The taxi that drove me to the airport in the morning like so many other cars, once he had entered the 4 lane high way, immediately went to the fast lane. Not that he was driving fast in his 8 year old Toyota Crown, he just routinely moved into that lane, even more…all other lanes were basically free…sounds familiar? En route to the airport I noted that 80% of the traffic was hanging around in the “fast” lane, with the really fast cars over taking in the so called extreme ”slow” lane.

So much like a metafor…as it is so typical of life in general and our projects more particularly. It’s the 5 star look for a 3 star budget sort of thing. Aren’t we most of the time wanting to belong to the “Big League”? I think we all have seen a Mrs Bouquet somewhere (from “Keeping Up Appearances” fame, the hilarious sitcom). As a lighting designer we have to deal with Mr & Mrs Bouquets all the time. We get briefs and renderings that look the world but when it finally comes to the real deal, suddenly there isn’t all that budget anymore and we are asked to cut down the design to bare essentials.

Being honest and in “real time” is not always easy, certainly not in certain cultures, so part of our job as lighting designers is the need to unearth the reality and understand were people or more specifically our clients come from when they brief you, which basically comes down to your life and project experience (been there – done that). You can drive along in the fast lane as long as you understand that all the others in that lane are not always as fast as they would like you to believe… 🙂

Light & Learn 3-8: When I woke up this morning I had the daylight coming in strongly through my bedroom window lighting up by angled wall. It reminded me again how much nature’s daylight is the backbone of many of our lighting effects. The wall closest to the window was bright white, the angled wall still caught some reflective light but was much darker, while the return wall was practically dark. Three shades of white in varying contrast from one light source. In our lighting design we use contrast to reinforce dimensions. When you light up a building façade do all four facades be as bright? Of course not…under sunlight one façade always looks brighter than the other…see how light and shadow interact on these basic objects as the light moves slowly from the back overhead to the front. This series is used to teach Photoshoppers how lighting effects surfaces…

05. March 2012 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Light & Learn, Light and inspiration, lighting and culture, lighting design | Leave a comment

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